Ombudsman to Provide Complaints Handling for Members of the FCS

Ombudsman Services has been awarded a contract to provide an alternative dispute resolution scheme for providers registered with the Federation of Communication Services and their members.

The Federation of Communication Services (FCS) is the industry association for companies that deliver professional voice and data communications solutions to business and public sector customers.

As of 1 January 2016, Ombudsman Services has replaced the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS) in this role.

Under the scheme, customers who have an unresolved complaint with member companies of FCS can ask that their case be referred to Ombudsman Services: Communications who will try to resolve the dispute. Using the ombudsman will be free to the customer.

Commenting on the news, Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said: “Ombudsman Services’ roots began with resolving telecommunication complaints. We are the largest communications dispute resolution service and are delighted to be working with the companies that provide services through FCS.

“We look forward to further helping them to improve their customer service models, as well as offering customers our free and impartial resolution service should they encounter a problem with voice and data communications services or products.”

FCS Chief Executive Chris Pateman (pictured) added: “FCS members are recognised as the experts in providing communications solutions to Britain’s business community. With so many small business customers on our members’ books, our concern goes beyond just ensuring FCS members are legally compliant: they need to be able to deliver world-class experiences and build long-term relationships. Which means swift and professional service even on those rare occasions when there are differences of opinion.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Ombudsman Services, both to meet our members’ current needs and to develop additional services for the future.”

Ombudsman Services is an alternative dispute resolution scheme set up for consumers to turn to when a complaint they have made directly with a company has reached a deadlock stage, or has been on-going for eight weeks or more.

The role of Ombudsman Services is to investigate complaints fairly by taking into account both sides of the story and making a recommendation on what, if any, action should be taken to resolve the complaint. So that complaints can be handled effectively, companies using the scheme agree to provide the necessary information and to abide by the ombudsman’s decision.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine